A lifetime of travel across the United States has led to a book with inspiring information and a bond that can never be broken between Ahwatukee Foothills resident Kelly Isley and her father, Arlie Isley.
Isley said her father has always loved to travel and when she published her first book several years ago it inspired him to do the same and share what he has learned as he has traveled across the United States.
“He showed me all the pictures he has from his traveling and he said, ‘I finally did it, I categorized all the pictures for all the states we’ve visited,’” she said. “I thought it was amazing and I said, ‘This would make a great book.’ I looked at him and thought, ‘Oh Kelly what have you said?’ A week later the album showed up in the mail and he called and said, ‘I’ve got some great ideas for that book.’”
The book, “A Lens on America: Arlie’s Journey Across 50 States,” was published by B&IB Publishers. It contains a chapter on every state in the U.S. with details and descriptions from Arlie’s experience visiting there. Several chapters also have notes from Isley, who helped organize each chapter and added in her own perspective when she could.
Isley said growing up their idea of vacation was getting in the car and driving somewhere. Her father retired in his late 40’s and was able to travel to every state in the U.S.
“I learned that every state has some hidden beauty,” she said. “It also has a lot of things that the average visitor may not pick up on. My dad looked at it from a completely different lens. He wanted to look at all different aspects of the states he visited. Some he had worked in like Montana, others he was born and raised in like Oklahoma. Others, like Arizona, he had come to visit family.”
Several hundred copies of the book have already been sold. Isley said the feedback she has heard is that the book has some unique and very useful information. She’s even been approached by some parents buying the book as a tool for homeschooling their children.
Arlie is now 81 years old and Isley said the experience of writing a book with him has been life changing. Not only has it made her want to be more like her dad, but it has inspired her to follow her passions.
“In my dad’s case he always wanted to write a book, but you can always make time for something if that’s important to you,” she said. “Do it. If my dad can publish a book at 81, other people can certainly follow their passion and reach their dream.”
The book is available through Barnes and Noble or Amazon or online at alensonamerica.com.
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